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An Afternoon in New York

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

Since our Delta and Air France flights were on two separate reservations, I wanted to make sure we had a buffer in case the northeast summer air travel issues reared its ugly head. With only 3x daily DFW-JFK flights on Delta, we elected to take the early one which gave us a 9.5 hour layover. Since we didn’t want to spend all that time lounge hopping (ok maybe I did but Mrs. ATX Jetsetter wasn’t gonna go for that) we decided to spend the afternoon in the city.

We had no real plans other than an early dinner at Red Farm so we made our way over to the AirTrain upon our arrival at JFK. Initially, I had planned on taking the LIRR to Grand Central but during all my travels to New York I’d never made it to Wall Street. Therefore we decided to take the A train to Manhattan which would get us within walking distance.

The Air Train, for all of its flaws, provides some great views of the ramp action at JFK which is always unique.

Anyone who has used it recently can tell you that the AirTrain is a mess with station closures due to construction. We didn’t find it that difficult to navigate until we got to the end and tried to leave. The NYC subway and most of the buses are on the new OMNY tap to pay system but the AirTrain still uses the old MetroCard, so we had to buy one at the kiosk. We bought the 10 AirTrain ride pass as it was cheaper than buying 4 individual tickets.

The whole trip from JFK T4 to Manhattan took about an hour and soon we were back above ground and made our way over towards the New York Stock Exchange. We took the typical pictures of the building and the ‘Fearless Girl’ statue before heading down towards Battery Park in search of some food.

A Nathan’s hot dog cart happened to be waiting at the corner of the park so we grabbed a couple of hot dogs and walked around watching the tourists race to ferry boats and the New Yorkers playing in the park.

With our bellies full, Mrs. ATX Jetsetter wanted to find a place to grab a drink. She found a couple of promising bars in Tribeca on the waterfront so we strolled up the Hudson River Greenway adjacent to the West Side Highway, passing in front of One World Trade and the 9-11 memorial.

In Tribeca, we headed to Grand Banks, which is a restaurant and bar located on an old ship moored to Pier 25 on the Hudson River. The hostesses seated us quickly at the bar and we perused the menu.

Grand Banks boat in the Hudson River
Grand Banks, Hudson River NYC

One thing of note if you decide to visit, this is an actual boat floating in the river, not in drydock. So waves from passing boats can cause it to rock, take note if you’re someone that gets seasick easily.

The drinks were great and we relaxed for an hour or so and enjoyed the view.

At one point, a rain shower passed over us which forced some folks to flee under the covers. Thankfully our seats were covered so we managed to stay dry.

View of New Jersey from Tribeca Manhattan
Dodging storm clouds in New York

The restrooms are located down in the bottom of the boat and have not been retrofitted to 2023 human sizes so watch your head and your step should you choose to head down below.

Grand Banks NYC bathroom
The bathrooms are not set up for the average sized person in 2023

After drinks it was time for one of our favorite New York restaurants, Red Farm. Anytime we find ourselves in the city we always get at least one meal here and today was no different. We took the 1 Train up from Tribeca to the Upper West Side and made the short walk over just as they opened at 4:30p.

The restaurant was empty and we were seated instantly. During our last visit we discovered that Red Farm was opening a 4th location (accompanying the two in New York and one in London) in Austin and Mrs. ATX Jetsetter has already managed to befriend the manager there. Hopefully I don’t have to stop doing my crazy New York layovers though.

We were on a mission since we needed to get back to JFK and face the chaos that is T1 security so we ordered right away, two orders of the pork and crab soup dumplings and the duck noodles. The full menu is below.

Red Farm Upper West Side NYC pork and crab soup dumplings
Pork and crab soup dumplings
Red Farm Upper West Side NYC duck with noodles
Red Farm NYC Duck with noodles

After dinner, a very happy Mrs. ATX Jetsetter and I headed down to the subway and caught a southbound 1 Train to Penn Station.

New York City subway station
Time to head back to the airport

We made a quick dash to the Long Island Railroad platforms and caught a train to the airport, which deposited us at Jamaica station just before 6:30p.

From there, we hopped on board the AirTrain for the ride over to JFK T8 and then the shuttle bus to T1, as the AirTrain is under construction, to check in for our Air France flight to Paris.

Thanks for coming along on this quick afternoon visit to New York!

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